35 Best Web Apps And Tips Of 2016

Web apps continue to get more and more sophisticated every year. A lot of powerful desktop apps that were essential a decade ago are now easily replaceable by web apps. If you stop to think about it, your browser and a Netflix subscription is really all you need to get rid of your TV which isn’t just an app but an entire device. Of course, if browsers weren’t more powerful, developing these web apps wouldn’t be possible. Developers continue to build better more powerful apps for the web and for browsers alike. Here are the best web apps and tips we covered in 2016.

Chromecast works with the Chrome browser. Google has added native support to Chrome so that you no longer need to install the Google Cast extension. That said, it still isn’t bug-free. A lot of users who cast a browser tab often complain they get no sound through their TV. Here’s the simple fix.

You can use your Chromecast for almost anything. If you’re looking for a way to cast a picture slideshow, we’ve got you covered.

Fullscreen Slideshow

Netflix doesn’t automatically stream in HD or it doesn’t default to the best available quality at times. If your Netflix stream is stuck in SD that is making your eyes bleed, you can force it to stream in HD.

netflix-res

Google has added support for the Chromecast to just about all its products and Hangouts is no different. Here’s how you can cast a Hangouts call to your Chromecast.

Google Hangouts - name

Facebook added support for the Chromecast last year. No, you can’t cast your entire feed to your TV but you can cast a video in your Facebook feed to the Chromecast from the web and from the mobile apps.

Facebook-chromecast

Facebook announced bots for its Messenger platform in 2016. Since then, a considerable number of bots have been developed to provide customer support or dispense news to anyone interested. Jarvis is a little bot that lets you set reminders inside Facebook Messenger.

jarvis set reminder

Google can decide to pull a Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store at its own discretion. One way to ensure you never lose an extension is to back it up. Here’s how.

chrome-dev-mode

Google has introduced a bookmarking feature that lets you save web content to your personal account. It is integrated inside Google Image search. You can save an image search result to your Google account and visit it later any time.

google images save

Facebook Messenger added this feature to help differentiate conversation threads. You can change the color of the conversation bubbles and you can replace the default thumbs-up emoji with any other one of your choosing.

facebook-chat-color

Who doesn’t love political satire considering the times we live in. It’s pretty easy to watch South Park given the episodes are available online for free. Here’s how you can watch them on your big screen with a Chromecast.

south park cast

The Chrome browser can play sound in surround sound provided you have the right hardware for it and you’ve enabled it.

--force-wave-audio

Facebook Messenger bots are pretty easy to create if you know the basics of coding. Even if you don’t, it doesn’t stop you from creating a bot for your Facebook page. There are apps that make it easier to create a bot and take the coding bit out of it.

fb-app-new

Facebook Messenger’s color options for chat conversations are limited to basic colors but there’s a little extension that lets you change it to any color of your choice. The color change is reflected not just in your browser but also in the mobile apps.

mauf

Chrome is going Material; Google has been pushing its new design convention to all its products. The thing is, people love the Chrome UI and changes to it aren’t received well. Here’s how you can remove the Material design from the Downloads page.

chrome-material-design-download

Finding direct download links to a file can be tricky. Often, you have to fight your way through ads, complicated verification processes, and donate your kidney just to find the direct download link to a file. This app makes it easier.

 

filechef

Google Docs don’t look all that great when you publish them. Their formatting suffers which is why users might decide against using it and stick to PDFs. This app makes sure your Google Doc looks perfect even after it has been published.

google docs - publish

Gmail emails prohibit the use of periods in the address. This means there are fewer email variations available when you sign up for an account. Gmail ignores the period but web services like Instagram and Twitter do not. It’s a little exploit that lets you use the same email account to sign up for multiple accounts on any website.

Facebook Messenger bots were announced in 2016 but if you aren’t quite sure what the point of having a bot for your page is, we shed some light on what you can do with it.

search-bot

High performing hardware isn’t the only pre-requisite to running the best PC games on your system. If you play multi-player games then a fast and reliable internet connection is essential. If you often binge on Netflix, you again need your internet to be reliable. This app tests your connection’s speed and stability to see if you can game and binge comfortably.

Internet Speed Test

Google Drive is one of the few Google products that still lacks support for the Chromecast. This means you can’t cast a movie from your Google Drive. Here’s a little work around that lets you do just that.

google drive video photos play video cast

The Google search page does quite a few tricks one of which is running a speed test for your internet connection. Just Google ‘Speed test’ and tap Enter.

speed test running speed test results

If you sync passwords in Chrome to your Google account, you can access them from anywhere outside your standard system.

chrome-pw

Google’s new bookmarking feature that lets you save links to your personal account is best used through the official Chrome extension. It allows you to save just about anything to your account and organize it via tags.

save to google

Videos on Product Hunt are muted by default. If you’d like to embed a YouTube video with the volume turned all the way down, there’s a little script that lets you do just that.

youtube-video-id

Facebook rolled out diverse reactions for posts. People can now express sorrow and anger, among other things, when they see a post in their Timeline. If you’re a content creator, you will need to know how people are responding to your posts. Here’s how you can find out.

fb-post-likes

Chrome has an awesome syncing feature that can sync passwords, open tabs, history, and even passwords between your smartphone and your desktop. You can also sync bookmarks saved on your iPhone or Android phone and have them appear on your desktop.

chrome-mobile-bookmarks

If you don’t watch movies for the twist at the end and more for the story, you might be interested in knowing if the story itself is good or just over hyped. This web app spoils a movie for you.

Spoil Me

A Google account can be used to sign up for a myriad of services. If you’ve lost track of what you’ve signed up for, this web app lists every single service associated with your Google account and helps you clean it up.

deseat-me

Netflix has quite a few hidden categories that let you search more succinctly for content to watch. This little Chrome extension unlocks them so you can browse them easily.

Netflix Super Browse

The space bar, when tapped, is supposed to play/pause a video on YouTube. It doesn’t always do that and instead scrolls down. If you habitually tap the space bar to pause a YouTube video, then this extension should help fix the scrolling problem.

chrome-Tampermonkey

There’s Google search and then there’s the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button. Most of us have Google as our default search engine but you can also add the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button as a search engine.

im feeling lucky

P2P transfer is easier when you don’t want to spend time uploading and then downloading files. This web app lets you transfer files between two desktops without needing involving a cloud drive service.

takeafile

Chrome’s profile switcher is pretty useful and it has full keyboard shortcut support. Tell a friend.

chrome-profile-switch

Deleting old emails can be time consuming. Google lets you select all emails on the current page but it also gives you the option to select all emails in a particular inbox or under a certain label so you can delete them in one go.

gmail select all label

Facebook Messenger has group messaging but if you want to message multiple people separately, you’re going to need an extension to do that.

Messenger Merge

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About Lily Herman

Lily Herman
Lily Herman is a New York-based writer and editor. In recent months, her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Glamour, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, TIME, Newsweek, Fast Company, and Mashable. You can check out her website, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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